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A governing leader commented in a recent convention video, that the early Christian congregations did not lose their faith because of persecution, but because “false brothers” slipped into the congregation with their spiritual “poison”, to mislead God’s people. (Heb 12:14,15) This did occur as verified by Jude 1:4 that he cited. The scriptures do give ample warning of that possibility. (Rom 16:17,18; Gal 1:7,8) However, the warning applies particularly to the last anointed remnant on earth, before Christ’s return. (Matt 24:24,22; 7:15; 2 Thess 2:1-4; Rev 8:10; 9:1-4;13:11,12; 16:13-16; 12:4,15,17) These “false brothers” have left their covenant in Christ to pursue fleshly desires, becoming the progeny of another “father”… (Luke 4:5-7; John 8:44; 1 John 2:4; 1 Cor 6:19; Eph 5:5; 1 John 1:6;2:19; Rev 9:11) …and another “mother”. (Gal 4:24,26,9-11; Isa 28:15,18; Rev 17:5) They became spiritual harlots, filling their “cup” with detestable teachings, and practices of idolatry committed against the covenant – against the Father and the Son. (Isa 1:21; Ps 106:39; Jer 2:20; 1 Cor 10:21; 2 Cor 11:2,3;Rom 1:21-23,25; Jer 51:7; Rev 17:1-4) God’s Word tells us that in the time of the end, many will be misled by false teachers and false prophets – even the chosen elect/”saints”. (Mark 13:22; 2 Pet 2:1,2) The anointed remnant in the last days would be ‘captured’ and tested through deceit. (Luke 21:7,8,24;22:31; Col 2:8; Rev 13:10,1,5-7; 1 Pet 4:12,13) Its leaders usually promote a capture and persecution by the world of politics, to come upon all JWs; but, within their perceived haven of peace and security, spiritual captivity of the anointed has been accomplished by false teachers. (Ezek 13:10; Jer 8:11;1 Thess 5:3; Rev 20:7-9; 16:16) It is hidden in plain sight. “In the same way these people—relying on their dreams—defile their flesh, reject authority, and slander glorious ones.” Jude 1:8 They focus on fleshly desires, and reject the authority of Jesus Christ. (Eph 2:3; Col 2:18,19) Do these false teachers slander God’s holy people? Yes, both inside and outside the organization. The anointed are “trampled” among the throng of JWs, by dissolving any truthful understanding of God’s priesthood and its role. (Isa 43:21; 1 Pet 2:9; Mal 2:7; Heb 13:15; Rev 5:9,10; 7:10,12) Sarcastic and accusatory remarks have been said about them by the leadership. (Ps 35:20; Jer 23:1,2; Ezek 34:2) They are silenced; their duties absorbed by a counterfeit priesthood in the exalted elder body. (Ezek 34:6,21,22,28; Num 18:7; Ezek 44:6-9; Luke 21:24; Matt 24:15,16; 1 Cor 3:16,17; 2 Thess 2:4; Dan 8:13; Rev 11:2) Outside the walls, the anointed devoted to their Master, Jesus Christ, are also a primary target that this leader has in mind; calling them “apostates” - “teachers” who have exposed the leaders’ lies, idolatry and apostasy. (John 15:20) The governing leader stated that these apostates are “rot from within”. How could a person once anointed, become “rot from within”? The leader didn’t give a full explanation, but the scriptures do. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+15%3A20&version=CSB Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. 6 "If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.” John 15:5-7 A false teacher would be promoting his own “word”, over those of Jesus Christ. (Matt 15:9; 12:37; Gal 1:6-9,11,12; Acts 13:9,10; 1 Tim 4:1; Rev 13:11,12,16,17) As Jude 1:8 says, he would be relying on his own fleshly dreams and desires. (Jer 23:16) He would push the envelope when interpreting scripture. (Isa 28:7,8) He would formulate doctrine outside of Christ’s teachings, outside of the Word of God. (1 Thess 2:13) He would create literal dates of the coming of Armageddon, making promises to his hearers that prove to be false. (Isa 28:9,10) A false teacher would shun his brothers in Christ out of jealousy and fear of losing his authority and power over them. (Gen 4:9; Matt 24:48-51; 1 John 3:7,10-12; Rev 11:3,7; 13:15) He would demean their role as an active priest today, promoting lying doctrine about the priesthood, and by shedding doubt on their personal anointing. (Isa 51:23;Rev 9:3,4) There is a presentation within the leader’s video, of individuals whose faith (in the organization/idol) was challenged. One man stated that the elders helped reason with him, and he ‘realized’… “I had been carried off, or that I had been taken captive by human philosophy the deception and the empty reasoning of men.” That statement is based on Col 2:8, which wasn’t mentioned. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Col+2%3A8&version=CSB If we analyze the sign of a teacher using human philosophy and ‘empty reasoning’, we can return to what Jesus said in John 15 - "The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” The “fruit” that Jesus speaks of, is truth, not one’s own deluded teachings that later must be changed. (John 14:6,24; 17:17) Jesus would not grant the okay for his servants to make a prediction that would certainly fail, or teach any false doctrine, as the organization has, and does. (2 Tim 2:15) Yet, the governing leaders a few years back blamed their errors in guidance, on not only lack of divine ‘inspiration’; but they also blamed Jesus Christ, by saying he didn’t promise that his “faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food.” If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.” This also does not mean that Jesus will change a teaching at the whim of men who desire to speak fraudulence from their own minds. Truth in Jesus Christ is light, and sustains spiritual life. (John 8:12;1 John 1:4,5) It is always light - never to lead one into darkness, but progressively growing lighter “to the full light of day”. It is a straight path of further knowledge, built on existing truth. It doesn’t take the steep, twisted switchbacks or backtracking, to a previous understanding, as the organization has frequently done. (Psalm 119:105; Prov 4:18,19; 5:3-6;13:9; Isa 59:9; 50:10; John 1:5; 1 Tim 4:4,5) “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isa 8:20 Each anointed teacher is compared by Jesus, as a “tree”. (Jer 17:7,8; Psalm 1:1-3; Rev 22:2) He tells us that a “good tree”, can only produce “good fruit”. (Matt 7:17,18) As we see in John 15, they are also compared to branches of a vine. They cannot rely on excuses for producing “bad fruit” or bad teachings, and still claim they are led by Jesus Christ. (Mal 3:18) As long as they remain attached to the vine of living sap/Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ, “bad”, rotten fruit will not be produced. Keeping that in mind, we know that an apple from a tree riddled with disease will produce malformed fruit affected by the disease, and it is not palatable. The extensive list of doctrines, (‘beliefs clarified’, and also present doctrine) produced by the governing leaders is not and never has been, palatable. These men are unable to provide spiritual living nourishment, since their teachings are continually discarded. (John 15:7,8,15,16) “Rot from within”, begins in the heart of the “tree”. Yes, there is a term called “heart rot”, a decaying fungal disease that affects the tree’s ability to survive. Eventually, the trunk and branches become so diseased, that the tree falls. Heart rot cannot be detected on the outside of the tree, unless the heart is somehow visible through damage, or exposed at its fall. (Zech 11:1,2; Matt 3:10; 2 Pet 3:17; 1 Tim 6:9) So again, how we can detect “rot from within” the heart of a false teacher? Jesus tells us in Matt 12:33-36; 15:19 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+12%3A33-36%3B+15%3A19+&version=CSB False teachings are introduced as the man said, by offering ‘a few grains of truth mixed in with falsehoods, and inspired by the demons’. (1 Tim 4:1,2; Rev 16:13-16) He compared this concoction to a poisoned drink. If we were to accept this cup offered by false teachers, deterioration and active decay to our spiritual heart and mind begins. (Prov 4:23; Ps 28:3; Prov 19:9; 2 Tim 3:13) And the teacher who offers the poisoned cup of falsehoods to his listeners, is the sign of rot occurring from within themselves. (Deut 32:33; Prov 23:26-35; Job 20:16) He states - “So first, let’s talk about apostasy, and we’ll call it spiritual poison. Now, think about poison. What’s the best way to avoid being poisoned? Well, we have to recognize poison when we see it, and then avoid it. And the same principle applies to teachings that could destroy our faith. And that’s not always easy. No, not many of our brothers and sisters would deliberately get involved with apostates, but it could happen without our realizing it.” It has happened, to the chosen priesthood of God. They have been dangerously deceived in these last days, falling into the organizational “trap”. (Ps 140:5; Jer 5:26; Luke 21:34-36; Col 2:8) Jude calls these false teachers “brute beasts” who have gone the way of Cain. (Jude 1:10,11) In the last days, Revelation tells us that a bright “star” falls from the heavens onto “springs of water”. (Dan 12:3; 2 Pet 3:14; Rev 8 :10) These poisoned waters, signify teachings from fallen anointed ones – fallen “stars” and the “trees” whose heart rot is detected by what comes out of their mouth. (Jer 22:17; Matt 24:4,5; Luke 6:45; Rom 16:17,18) Those who drink in the cup offered to them, will eventually perish. These are the “false brothers” who have misled the chosen “elect”, and many with them. (2 Pet 2:1-3) Their rot from within is so invasive, that God’s Word refers to them as Wormwood. Another connective illustration to Wormwood is Rev 13:11; 17:1 which describes her as a Beast with two horns, a false prophet, and also a Harlot. “To share in Satan's power and authority over false teachings, persecution and deceiving of the unsealed faithful, and death; is a great sin for those who had been Chosen ones (Rev 8:10,11; Matt 24:45,48-51. Those who enter this Covenant with Satan and his abyss, were already warned by Christ to love their brothers (John 13:32,35), or else be considered murderers and Satan's seed (1 John 3:14,15; John 8:44).” The Last Harlot and Her Beast - https://4womaninthewilderness.blogspot.com/2012/12/here-is-earlier-post-with-updates.html The scriptures speak in length about “Ephraim”, which originally referred to one man, but came to include the northern tribes of Israel. That region was later called Samaria (meaning “watch tower”). It was a region of protective mountains, and fertile, prosperous land. Ephraim-Israel transgressed their covenant with God, relying on their own strength by not calling on God to guide them. They spread lies about Him, and in their arrogance, joined the nations in acts of idolatry. (Hos 6:7,9,10; 7:10,13,15; 5:3,4) We can take this useful information and project it symbolically toward the ‘protective’ “mountainlike organization” and its apostate leaders of spiritual “Israel”. Ephraim the man, exalted himself as above reproach by God. (Hos 13:1). Like Ephraim, the organization’s succession of leadership – “heads”/“mountains”/false prophets, also believe they are invincible, never to have their “reign” toppled. (Rev 13:1,11;Isa 47:7-9; Rev 18:7) “Ephraim” can mean, “doubly fruitful”, adding to the illusion that the organization appears prosperous, producing much “fruit”, which is evident through publications throughout the years. (Gen 41:52) Although appearing as “fertile”, none of this fruit contains the light of Jesus Christ. (Deut 32:32; Isa 50:10,11; John 3:19) I was speaking about the governing leader’s video and his statement about "rot from within" with a friend, and I had shared Hosea 5 with her which says, “I am like a moth to Ephraim, like rot to the people of Judah. 12 “Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord. 4 The turning away from the light and life of truth, as the organization’s leaders have done, brings God’s judgment against these “false brothers”. Through the poisoned teachings which the Beast/false prophet/Harlot survives on, the rotten heart of these “trees” will be fully exposed, when their “garment” is ‘moth-eaten’ by God’s judgments against them. (Job 13:128; Isa 50:9; 51:7,8; James 5:1-3; Rev 17:16,17) “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.” 2 Pet 2:12 Upon doing a little research, my friend shared with me that one aspect of the word “perish” means destruction from internal corruption, deterioration, decay, which is…“rot from within”. Their corrupted selves are perishing; branches of the vine segregated from all other branches under their Head, Jesus Christ, and who are destined to wither and be destroyed. (Hab 2:12,15,16; John 15:4,6,7) There is another, yet negative meaning to the name, Ephraim, which signifies the outcome of his spiritual harlotry – “double ash-heap”, connotating worthlessness and grief. (Mal 4:1-3; Rev 18:4-8) “If he sows to please his own wrong desires, he will be planting seeds of evil and he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death; but if he plants the good things of the Spirit, he will reap the everlasting life that the Holy Spirit gives him.” Gal 6:8 YHVH’S Genuine Mountain - https://4womaninthewilderness.blogspot.com/2013/02/jehovahs-genuine-mountain.html